August 27, 2015

My First Professional Assignment

First Shoot EVER!!!!

Coming soon! Baby announcement photograph :)

September 21, 2012
It was the day right after my birthday that my cousin talked me into doing her pregnancy shoot. And maybe I was feeling overly confident of my skills as a photographer, I said yes! I was officially treading down the path towards trying to be a professional photographer and earn my living through it. That day, I was scanning Pinterest and Flickr like there was no tomorrow, looking for photo inspirations. There were plenty and I felt belittled each time I came across a professional's photo shoot albums. I was basically a self-taught photographer with a fancy DSLR and a kit lens. And then there was the cousin who had put her faith in me, I could not let her down.

I chose my home for the shoot because I loved shooting in natural and available light and I knew the lighting in my house at the back of my hand. So I decided to use that to my advantage. We chose mid-afternoon as the perfect time when the light would be the brightest and she would have no morning sickness as she was in the 8th month of pregnancy (Note: More than photographing a child, shooting a pregnant woman in her third trimester is the most challenging. Her health should be the primary concern and the photographer should never attempt a shot at a place they are not familiar with)

And then, we began...! 
A few of the photographs from my first creative photo shoot.
One of the 'gender of the baby' announcement pictures. It's a boy! 

Photographs against interesting backgrounds

One of my all-time favourites. With all the plush soft toys and baby stuff.

The Mum, The Dad and the baby booties!

The fun parents photograph

I used a variety of properties for the shoot, but more on the essentials for a maternity shoot in another post. 
Till then, happy shooting! 

Clouds and the Endless Sky

Clouds are one of my favourite things to photograph on any day. Especially the sunset. The orange hues, the burning red, the calm and cool blue tones and the disturbed rainy grey blacks. Silhouettes and Panoramas, everything looks other worldly set against an expansive sky. Here are few of the pictures I clicked over the last few months, spread across the various seasons and solstices, some from my phone and some from the camera. Irrespective of the medium, these images will transport you.


Each one of these pictures spell out a moment etched in my head for life. Hope this resonates that.

Photostories By D - Work and Collaborations


Newborn, Children and Toddler Photography
Maternity and Pregnancy Photography
Couple Portrait Photography
Personal Portfolios
Pre-Wedding Photography
Candid Event Photography


The Shimmer Tales - Photographer and Style support

361 Degrees - Product Photography

7 times you piss off your Photographer!

We photographers are a crazy brunch. And we are also super chill. But when it comes to the nuances of our craft and the people ruining our vibe, we flip the switch and become raging monsters. As clients or friends, these might be the things you did to piss off that photographer friend but were unaware that you did.
Next time around, be warned.

1) Adding filters to the photographs that have already been processed for them by their photographer.

2) Using that free app on your phone to 'Photoshop' a body part, thus aesthetically ruining the whole photograph.

3) Making small talk about RAW images and not knowing what RAW actually is.

We know you have read a lot of blogs about Photography on Pinterest and you consider yourself a pro when it comes to camera talk. But God knows I have not gotten a correct answer about the difference between JPEG and RAW from these 'enthusiasts'.

4) "Dude, you charge so much! It's just clicking pictures!"

This is true for most part. Yes, our primary goal is to click pictures. But that's just not it, is it. We have to get all the details right, make sure we haven't missed a crucial detail or moment or an angle in a shot. Then we spend hours to make sure the colour, composition and the feel of the final photograph is as we visualised it for you, the client. We use expensive equipment, state-of-the-art accessories, travel and other logistic expenses. Please, go ahead and do the math!

5) "Bro! Come to the party. Camera math bhoolna!"


6) Cropping the Photographer's watermark out while sharing the picture on social media.

If the Photographer superimposes their watermark on the picture, then there's no way out. But I have seen a number of clients just conveniently cropping the watermark from the corners of the photograph while sharing it on their facebook and twitter. You think it's no big deal. We think not!

7) "Photoshop that!"

Them, countless photoshop requests.

That is all I have from my end, let me know if there is something in particular that has annoyed you beyond reason. I am sure this post needs a sequel.

Until next time, Cheers! 


August 18, 2015

The Phone Call

To me, there is something very empowering about making a call and striking a conversation. It is an exhilarating experience on occasions when the person on the other end is an old dear friend or they are someone you just randomly happened to phone the first time because of some work. I have had many a delightful conversations in the past and I have consistently noticed that a phone call ranging from normal/average to happy have significant mood altering results on me. All of them, positive.

So here is my pattern. Once every couple of months, I dedicate an entire evening calling estranged friends and people I have lost touch with. It is not a pattern or a fixed list of people, these are the people I am randomly missing that day. And when I call, apprehension-free, I am triggering a mood alteration sequence in all those people I am talking to. That gives me a lot of power (and responsibility) and makes this an exciting task. In this entire process, I am also reconnecting with myself from the past and those people I talk to. In simple words if I am happy, then the person I am calling sort of gets infected by my happy bug and alters their mood, even if it is just for a brief period. 

Not just me, I think once in a while everyone should rise above WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter and call them peeps whose voice you probably would have forgotten because you have been hitting as many Vevo channels on Youtube as can be possible. Flex your fingers, pick up the phone and make that call. And when you call, remember these things:

  • Do not be apologetic. You may be calling after ages but you are the one calling right now. You win! The only exceptions to this rule are your parents. Call them, call them now. And apologise for being such a slob and not calling them everyday.
  • Slang is your friend, if it is your bud or your sibling on the other side of the call. Discretion is advised, however.
  • Immediately disconnect when the conversation has steered to a place where ",,,and, what else?" was spoken out loud for the third time. Marks of a conversation that has gone redundant and is not fun anymore. Think twice about calling this person again the next time.
  • For once, DON'T worry about the bill.
  • Reminisce about the past. Plan future tasks to take up together. Discuss the present.
  • Building on the previous point, never discuss the weather for more than a 20 seconds. 
  • Don't be egotistical. It is afterall just a phone call. Don't compare notes about who called whom last, serves no purpose.
  • Walk. Might as well get some exercise while you are at it. 
  • Write down all your important phone numbers in a planner or a telephone book. You have no idea how amazing it feels to flip through the pages of a phonebook and locate a number to dial it.
There there! Wasn't that easy?
Go on ahead, make that phonecall and start the happy mood chain reaction. When you hear the other person smile through the conversation, it will be worth it! 


August 10, 2015

My Father, my Hero!

Photographing Papa was no task because my camera loved him. His friendly face and joyful charisma made for the best pictures ever. He is my hero and my friend.
Here are some of my favourite pictures of Him:

My favourite man in the world, Papa

Mum Dad, I know love through them.


My Hero! 

Love means these two! Playful and crazy! Maa Paa <3 font="">

Papa's signature smile. He is the most charming man I know

Papa and his late mother

August 9, 2015

Your DNA speaks Skin and here is how!

by Disha Bhandari 

"You can get your skin treated and pampered with therapies and treatments that are personally designed keeping your DNA and genetic makeup in mind".
Sounds like something a female researcher would say to the popular cheerleader in a B-rated Sci-Fi movie. Now that is one movie I am never going to watch. But for what you just read in the beginning of the post, it is in fact not as unreal as Kylie Jenner's lips.

I was at the VLCC centre at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad last week for a bloggers' meet. Time for a little background story here:
So VLCC or Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves is a wellness company widely recognised both nationally and internationally. They are well known for their effective weight loss management programs and therapeutic approach to beauty treatments. Our meet was scheduled at the centre one afternoon and we got to discuss their newest breakthrough in the field of wellness and beauty heralded by the sweet Dr.Yasmin. Oh hey, there's us! 

@ the VLCC Bloggers' Meet
Coming back to this amazing new skin treatment we talked about, it is this! 

The basis of this revolutionary program launched by VLCC is the uniqueness of everyone's DNA. In the simplest terms, it is common knowledge that every human being has a DNA makeup that is unique to him. Like fingerprints, no two DNA sets are the same. The DNA carries information about your body in the minutest detail. It is this nature of the DNA that forms the basis of VLCC's DNA based Skin Care and Anti Aging program. 

And this is how it is done:
A simple yet comprehensive DNA test is done at the centre. The report takes about a week to get ready. This report has information in detail from your DNA which is tested for Collagen Degeneration, Sun Damage and Pigmentation, Skin Sensitivity and Inflammation, Production of Anti-oxidants, Skin Hydration status and Glycation (Damage from Sugar). The team of experts at VLCC then suggest a very personalised treatment for you based on the report. While 30% of skin damage is due to your surroundings and environment, 70% of a person's skin problems can be attributed to DNA mutations or anomalies. These can be corrected in a very scientific way through this approach. The experts suggest a treatment which is a combination of face packs, salon treatments, procedures and efficient dietary and lifestyle consultation. There is also a comprehensive consultation offered after the completion of the treatment that will guide you to retaining the results. VLCC also houses a whole range of beauty products that can help you for result retention in the future. One such product I loved is the Dermaheal Eye Filler Mask. You have got to try one! 

I also volunteered to give a sample of my DNA from my buccal cavity for testing. The team would get in touch with me in a week with the results. I am excited for the consultation! I will let you know how that goes when it does in another post.

The good peeps at the centre gave us a tour of the centre. Before that day, I predominantly recognised VLCC as a weight loss and wellness centre but I stood corrected when I took the tour. There are a host of other services offered at the VLCC centre which imbibes their mantra of holistic wellness such as a Wellness Exercise centre, Ayurveda, Yoga and Physiotherapy run with the guidance of Shilpa Shetty and a Beauty Salon.

The Yoga and Physiotherapy room

State of the art Beauty Salon

You may have heard about the DNA SLIM programs by VLCC which works on the same principle as above. Rush to your nearest VLCC centre for a DNA consultation for treatment for the skin or slimming. This is by far the most scientific approach to skincare and slimming that I have ever come across. 

If you have any questions, post them in the comments, or tweet them to me.

And if you are not following me on Instagram yet, here I am : @TheChinki_

Also, I regret not having taken my camera along! Next time, you will not be disappointed!

Until next time,

August 7, 2015

6 times I fell fabulously in love with Amrapali Jewels

I have an exaggerated sense of fashion and style, and it is pretty much evident in what I wear, do and endorse. This sense of overdoing a look makes me love jewellery more than it should be loved. I cannot begin to tell how many times I have had to explain myself after I am back from a shopping spree and all my bags have accessories and colourful junk. Speaking of exorbitant styles, I have had my eye on Amrapali Jewels for over two years now. Quite frankly, it was when I saw Kirron Kher rocking a gorgeous neckpiece over her Gaurang saree so masterfully. Since then, it is with religious dedication that I keep up with their collections and if I had the means, I would own each piece. Alas! I had no golden goose for a pet but hey, a girl can dream! 
Here it is, my dream jewels from Amrapali. My little bejewelled bucket list, you may call it.

1. Passa
I would never wear a Passa really, I am more of a Maang-Tikka person but this one I would totally wear. A part of the collection that Manish Arora designed for Amrapali, it speaks colour and elegance in one stroke. Notice the enamel work in the head of the passa! Stunning, right! 

2. Bangles and Ring
Also a part of the Manish Arora Collection for Amrapali, the ring is my showstopper. What I also love about the bangles are how effortless they are to style even it is with a casual day outfit. Colour speaks to me and my vain self is satisfied with that little mirror element in the ring. Truly, a masterpiece.

3. Chandbaalis
Every woman MUST own a royal pair of Chandbaalis. It is a wardrobe must-have. And how perfect are these earrings to fill that void! 

 4. Necklace
Statement Necklaces are difficult to adorn really, especially if you have to make the decision between making your outfit speak for itself or the jewellery. I would totally let this necklace steal all the limelight if I ever laid my hands on them! The silver, the radha-krishna scene and the sheer size and make of this necklace is totally me! LOVE!

5. Chandrika Earrings
When Tribe by Amrapali launched the Chandrika collection a few months ago, it was like Christmas! I saw these earrings in their release post on instagram and I swear, it was love at first sight. I am literally saving up to buy these. Unlike a lot of the jewellery I love, this one here is devoid of a lot of colour but the elaborate design makes up for it, and how! 

6. Gokru Bangles
In Marwari traditions, 3D bangles like these with mounts on the periphery of the bangle are called Gokru (pronounced Gawk-roo). They are pretty much worn on every occassion. Manish Arora's take on the traditional Gokru with a Jhumka twist and the induction of colours through enameling is pure genius. Need em! 

The list could seriously go on, but I have my heart REALLY set on these for now. More additions in later posts. If you have a favourite, not just from Amrapali, do let me know or link them to me in the comments below. I would love to check them out! 

Until next time,